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Nigerian & Cameroonian Navies Collaborate To Intercept Vessel Laden With 30k Litres Of CrudeOil

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A collaborative effort between the Nigerian Navy and the Cameroonian Navy has resulted in the interception of a vessel loaded with 30,000 litres of crude oil believed to have been illegally obtained from Nigerian waters.

Commodore Rotimi Oderemi, the Commander of Nigeria Navy Ship, NNS Victory, disclosed this development on Saturday during an inspection of the vessel at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

According to Oderemi, the vessel, named MV Jasmine, was detected within Nigerian territorial waters following credible intelligence and coordinated efforts with the Eastern Naval Command Centre.

Upon detection, a Nigerian Navy patrol boat, NNS Ekulu, was dispatched to intercept the suspected vessel and apprehend its crew for interrogation.

As the vessel attempted to evade capture by crossing into international waters between Nigeria and Cameroon, the pursuing NNS Ekulu, with assistance from the Cameroonian Navy, successfully intercepted and escorted the vessel back to Ibaka.

The interception led to the arrest of eight Nigerians found on board the vessel. Oderemi highlighted the significance of the seized crude oil, estimating its value at approximately N40 million in the international market.

He emphasized that the successful operation sends a clear message to potential criminals operating in Nigeria’s maritime domain, underscoring the Navy’s commitment to thwarting illicit activities.

In a surprising revelation, the captain of the intercepted vessel, Mr. Pere-Ebiye Abraham, claimed ownership and confessed to engaging in illegal bunkering due to economic hardships.

Abraham admitted to his involvement in illegal bunkering as an alternative source of income after facing challenges in his legitimate business of ferrying planks from Nembe Waterside in Rivers State.

“This is the second time I am moving crude oil of about 30,000 litres and was arrested by the Navy,” Abraham lamented, detailing the circumstances of his illegal activities.

The apprehended crew and the intercepted vessel are now under the custody of the authorities pending further investigation and legal proceedings.



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